Steve Swell Ensemble: Leaf Peeping In Poland


Eva Zöllner: Accordion Music By Women Composers


Thursday October 5, 2017, @ 8PM
509 Atlantic Avenue (at 3rd Ave), Brooklyn NY

An adventurous pairing of improvised and composed music from New York trombonist Steve Swell and German accordionist Eva Zöllner.

Steve Swell presents “Leaf Peeping In Poland” a meditation on Swell’s ninety-minute train ride from Krakow to Auschwitz in 2009. The twists and turns of thoughts and feelings on that train ride and the visit to the camp itself sparked a deeper understanding of how his family came to be born in this country and not there. Text and music by Steve Swell, with Deanna Relyea (mezzo-soprano); Patricia Nicholson Parker (voice/dance), Thomas Buckner (baritone); Piotr Michalowski (soprano saxophone, bass clarinet), Dave Sewelson (baritone saxophone) Jason Kao Hwang (violin); Larry Roland and James Ilgenfritz (basses); and Michael T. A. Thompson, drums.

German accordionist Eva Zöllner presents a distinctive set of works by contemporary women composers from Europe and North America, including Rebecca Saunders, Sofia Gubaidolina, Jagoda Szmytka, Georgina Derbez, and Milica Djordjevic. This concert is made possible with funding generously provided by Goethe Institute.


Jagoda Szmytka (1982) Open the box (2011) US premiere
Georgina Derbez (1968) Symphonia (2006)
Rebecca Saunders (1967) Of waters making moan (2013)
Milica Djordjevic (1984) Würde man denken: Sterne (2015) US premiere
Sofia Gubaidulina (1931) De Profundis (1978)



Purchase Tickets


About the Artists:

Trombonist Steve Swell has been active in the NYC music community since 1975.  He has toured and recorded with many artists from mainstreamers such as Lionel Hampton and Buddy Rich to progressive artists like Anthony Braxton, Bill Dixon and Cecil Taylor.  He has fifty CDs as a leader or co-leader and is featured on more than 125 other releases.  He tours regularly with numerous projects worldwide (William Parker, Peter Brotzmann, Ken Vandermark, Gebhard Ullmann) and several of his own (Soul Travelers). Steve conducts workshops worldwide and is a teaching artist in the NYC public school system. Steve worked on music transcriptions of the Bosavi tribe of New Guinea for MacArthur fellow Steve Feld in 2000, received a grant from USArtists International in 2006, an MCAF (LMCC) award in 2008 and 2013. In 2014 he received a Creative Curricula grant (LMCC), was nominated Trombonist of the Year 2008 & 2011 (Jazz Journalists Association), and received the 2008 Jubilation Foundation Fellowship Award (Tides Foundation) for his work in NYC public schools and has been recognized by the Downbeat Critics Poll in the Trombone category each year from 2010-2017. He was selected Trombonist of the Year 2008-2010, 2012, 2014-2016 by the Argentinian journal El Intruso. Steve’s recording “Soul Travelers” (RogueArt LP) was selected as an Album of the Year 2016 in the NYC Jazz Record. In June of this year Steve’s piece “Music for Six Musicians: Hommage à Olivier Messiaen” was recorded live by Silkheart Records which will be released on October 2017.

Accordionist Eva Zöllner, born in Germany in 1978, was educated as classical accordionist at the Academy of Music in Cologne and at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen where she studied with Prof. Geir Draugsvoll. She is one of the most active accordionists of her generation and devotes herself to contemporary music. Eva has performed as a soloist in most European and Latin American countries, throughout Asia, Australia, and North America She appears in productions ranging from experimental solo performances to concerts with renowned contemporary music ensembles and opera companies. CD recordings and radio productions document her work. She is also active as guest lecturer and jury member for institutions all around the world. An important part of her work is the close cooperation with composers of her generation. She has premiered more 150 new works for accordion. Lately she has been particularly interested in the potential of the accordion within electroacoustic music and multimedia art. In 2015 Eva Zöllner received a prestigious grant from the German Government for 6 months of artist residency at the Cite Internationale des Arts in Paris. Currently she lives near Cologne and as a nomadic musician, travelling around the world to explore her instrument in different cultures and contexts.


Georgina Derbez was born in México City and attended the Escuela Superior de Música where she studied with Ana María Tradatti, Arturo Márquez, and Ana Lara. Her works have been performed at the Manuel Enríquez Forum of New Music in México City and the Cervantino International Festival. In October of 1999 the Arditti Quartet recorded her Cuarteto No. 1. Her pieces have been played in the EEUU, Brasil, Holland, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, Spain, Finland, and Mexico. Her music has also been recorded by the Trio Neos, Ensamble Tres, Mexico woodwind quintet, and Tempus Fugit Ensemble, among others. She currently serves on Composition Faculty of the Superior School of Music of the National Center for the Arts in México City. She is also the Artistic Director of BRIDGES at Spanish-Mexican Festival of Contemporary Music.

Born in Legnica, Poland in 1982, Jagoda Szmytka studied in Wrocław, Graz, Frankfurt/Main and Karlsruhe. Her music has received international recognition through numerous features at festivals and institutions, including Warsaw Autumn, Wien Modern, Lucerne Festival, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, and many others. She received scholarships from the DAAD, the Art Foundation Baden-Württemberg, residencies at Herrenhaus Edenkoben  and La Muse en Circuit Paris. In 2015 WERGO/EZM released her portrait CD “BLOODY CHERRIES”, and in 2016 she won the GEMA Detuscher Musikautorenpreis. Jagoda Szmytka composes “for people”, “about people”, “with people”. Her compositions are mixture of texts, images and sounds that build dense structures in reference to high & pop culture, philosophy, or reality. She is a founder and leader of PLAY – Platform for art and culture social initiatives, and ENTER – Collective specialized in performing Referential Music.

Milica Djordjević (1984, Belgrade, Serbia) studied composition in Belgrade and Conservatoire National de Region de Strasbourg. She currently lives in Berlin. She has been awarded numerous prizes and scholarships, including Prize of the City of Strasbourg 2008, Finalist of the StaubachPreis competition in Darmstadt 2008, and Scholarship for talents of the Serbian Government 2008. She has worked with the Arditti Quartet, Ensemble Musikfabrik, BR Symphony Orchestra, Teodoro Anzellotti, Luca Pfaff, and Cerys Jones. Her first CD was published by WERGO.  Djordjević’s music has been performed and broadcasted in Serbia, Croatia, Macedonia, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Austria, The Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Israel, and Thailand.
Sofia Gubaidulina was born in Chistopol in the Tatar Republic of the Soviet Union in 1931. She studied piano and composition at the Kazan Conservatory, she studied with Nikolai Peiko and Vissarion Shebalin at the Moscow Conservatory. Until 1992, she lived in Moscow. Since then, she has made her primary residence in Germany, outside Hamburg. Gubaidulina made her first visit to North America in 1987 as a guest of Louisville’s “Sound Celebration.” The accolades of American critics have been ecstatic.

Born in London, Rebecca Saunders studied violin and composition at the University of Edinburgh, earning a PhD in Composition in 1997. As a DAAD scholar, she studied with Wolfgang Rihm from 1991 to 1994 at the Hochschule für Musik Karlsruhe; Nigel Osborne supervised her doctoral thesis. Her awards include the Busoni Prize of the Berlin Academy of the Arts, the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize for composition, the Hindemith Prize of the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, and the composition prize of the ARD. In 2010 and 2012, she taught at the Darmstadt International Summer Courses and was composer-in-residence at the Konzerthaus Dortmund from 2005-2006, and Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival in 2010.

Jason Kao Hwang (violin/viola) recently released the CD Sing House (quintet) and VOICE (mixed ensembles). As violinist, he has performed with Wadada Leo Smith, Pauline Oliveros, William Parker, Anthony Braxton, Steve Swell, Karl Berger, Tomeka Reid, Patrick Brennan, Oliver Lake, and others.  The 2012 Downbeat Critics’ Poll voted Mr. Hwang as  “Rising Star for Violin.” Mr. Hwang has received support from Chamber Music America, US Artists International, the NEA, Rockefeller Foundation and others. (

Patricia Nicholson’s work developed around the aesthetic of freeJazz, a movement that she helped lead as director of Arts for Art & Vision uniting dance and visual arts with FreeJazz.  As a dancer herself, Ms Nicholson has drawn from traditional and non-traditional techniques to create a unique movement style.  Her work has been presented at festivals in Europe, Canada and the U.S.  She has collaborated with William Parker, Billy Bang, Matthew Shipp, KJ Holmes, etc. and has just initiated The Artist’s Pledge for Humanity.

Mezzo soprano Deanna Relyea comes from a family of singers (among them her brother Canadian bass baritone Gary Relyea and his son John Relyea –Metropolitan Opera, etc.) she has performed the major oratorio and symphonic works including Mahler’s 2nd Symphony and Verdi’s Requiem, new music and cabaret works. She created the Kerrytown Concert House in Ann Arbor, MI and runs the annual avant jazz festival Edgefest. She is featured on Jason Kao Hwang’s album Voice.

Baritone Thomas Buckner has collaborated with a host of new music luminaries including Robert Ashley, Bun Ching Lam, Annea Lockwood, Noah Creshevsky, Robert Dick, Tom Hamilton, Earl Howard, Matthias Kaul, Leroy Jenkins, Roscoe Mitchell, Phill Niblock, Wadada Leo Smith, Chinary Ung, Christian Wolff and many others. In the 1970s, he ran 1750 Arch Records, co-directed the Arch Ensemble for Experimental Music, and curated 1750 Arch Concerts in Berkeley, California, which produced over 100 concerts a year. For the past twenty-nine years Thomas Buckner has curated the Interpretations New Music series in New York City, as well as the Mutable Music CD label.

Bassist/ Poet Larry Roland has been performing in the NYC area for more than 10 years In the realm of improvisational Music, Larry has performed with such notables as Steve Swell, Charles Gayle, Daniel Carter, Ingrid Laubrock, Jameel Moondoc, Joe McPhee, and many others. Currently, Larry has been working on several different recording projects, including The New York Free Quartet, Cheryl Pyles’ Beyond Quartet and ensembles led by Daniel Carter and Fedirico Uchi Group, as well as a few others.

Michael T.A. Thompson, Soundrhythium, is an anomaly. He has been in the company of such a wide variety of musical artists, including Joe McPhee, Oliver Lake, Kidd Jordan, Alex Foster, Marty Ehrlich, Ken Filiano, Roy Campbell Jr., Dennis Gonzalez, Matthew Shipp, Uri Caine, Henry Grimes, John Patitucci, Marc Ribot, Nels Cline, Christian McBride, William Parker, Charles Gayle, Patricia Nicholson Parker, etc. T.A.’s palate encompasses an abundance of sound colors. He hears everything and plays with it in a way that’s ever inventive and perceptively responsive.

James Ilgenfritz is a composer and improviser in New York City. James has performed with Anthony Braxton, “Blue” Gene Tyranny, The SEM Ensemble, Pauline Oliveros, Roscoe Mitchell, John Zorn, and many others. He has worked with Dither, String Noise, M Lamar, The Ostravska Banda, Kathleen Supové, the Momenta Quartet, and Lost Dog New Music Ensemble. Recent releases include Origami Cosmos (feat. works by Annie Gosfield, Miya Masaoka, JG Thirlwell, and Elliott Sharp) and Ephemera Obscura (w/ Denman Maroney, Angelika Niescier, and Andrew Drury). James teaches Suzuki bass at Brooklyn Conservatory of Music.

Saxophonist and clarinetist Piotr Michalowski was raised in Poland but came to the US to pursue academic work. Living in Ann Arbor, MI, he has worked closely with many Detroit area and visiting musicians, most recently in low clarinet trios and duos. He has also structured improvisational contexts for ancient and modern poetry, utilizing his own translations from Polish and ancient Sumerian. This summer he performed in Warsaw with prominent local improvisers.

Dave Sewleson was born in Oakland, California, in 1952. He has specialized in the baritone saxophone since the early seventies. He arrived in New York in 1977, playing with the Jemeel Moondoc’s Jus Grew Orchestra, William Parker’s Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra and Saheb Sarbib’s Multinational Big Band and the Microscopic Septet. He has played with Billy Bang, John Zorn, Peter Kuhn, Alex Cline, Roy Campbell, Sonny Murray, Kidd Jordan, Daniel Carter, Will Connell and Stephanie Stone. Dave’s current projects include Two Sisters Inc. with David Hofstra and Claire Daly, and The Daves.

Upcoming concerts:

Thursday November 2nd:
Michael Byron: The Ultra Violet of Many Parallel Paths (2016) World Premier with Joseph Kubera, Marilyn Nonken, pianos
Juho Laitinen: A Manifesto of Sounding for solo cello

Thursday, December 7th:
Graham Haynes: Chamber works for Momenta Quartet and Michel Gentile Flute Ensemble
David Taylor’s Calithumpians: BIG STORIES FOR a small Group